2 cowardly cocks fail to fight in a hospital
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SEVERAL years ago, my hair envied charcoal over being blacker, but couldn’t do anything about it. It is now partially succeeding to resemble cotton lint.

The success is facilitated by the process of growing older per second, as part of the senior process of giving birth to minutes that become fathers and mothers of hours.

The hours produce days, which manufacture weeks, that create months, which beget years, which have the bad habit of reminding children of God that they won’t remain children forever.

During the era of owning black hair, and of being addressed as ‘kaka’ before being upgraded to ‘mzee’, and ‘anko’ chipped in-between, I once played host to agent who paid me a visit at my office (sorry, the office where I worked; no, toiled).

Those were mostly days of ‘kazi’ minus ‘hapa’ and ‘tu’ at either end, as the case has been after the 2015 polls. Which is why a distant friend, Iscariot King’ang’anizi, once engaged me in a twentyminute chat in the visitors’ lounge, and my boss neither reprimanded nor sacked me.

He was uncharacteristically smart, wearing a suit that could have enabled him attend a UN agency-organised conference without raising a single eyebrow, let alone many of them.

Iscariot convinced me to part with 20,000/- , a ‘hell’ of money then, to be invested in a revolving fund, ‘Mamilioni Fukutafukuta’, that would multiply by ten times in three weeks’ time.

I pictured myself a happier, fatter - or less thin - man who would bid bye-bye to poverty and the single box (sorry, room) in a house owned by Mzee Kwapukwapu at the part of Mtoni in Dar that belongs to Aziz Ally, whose dictatorial tendencies were at least quarter Hitler’s. I would shift to an Indian Ocean beachfront residence I would ‘baptise’ River Jordan Paradise .

The dream vanished, and, the longer the distance I kept from a Satan-driven species called ‘tapelis’, my hair became whiter and I grew wiser.

Recently, alone at home as other family members were on safari, a stranger, Brightman Miundo Mbinu, popped in, as I was pondering how I could revive friendship with money, which had lately been boycotting my wallet.

I almost laughed because his stomach created an impression of someone who had made abortive attempts to resemble a middle-aged elephant. He claimed that his late father and mine had been very close friends and school mates.

He conducted (undisclosed) business for many years in Ghana, but returned to Tanzania after almost dying twice of home sickness. He stylishly fished an envelope from a coat he had deposited beside him on a couch, and handed it over to me.

It hosted a cool 1,000,000/-, saying it was a small incentive ! He asked me to mobilise and hand over to him 2,000,000/- in one week’s time, and I would pocket 5,000,000/- after three weeks !

I embraced the proposal the way a seasoned hyena grabs a meaty bone! And coming from a person roughly my age, whose hair pretends to be as white as cotton lint like mine, I believed him.

Ten minutes into a chitchat, ‘mzee mwenzangu’ went to the toilet. When I rushed to the bedroom to pick my phone handset that was on power charge, I took along his coat.

It was a precaution, in case a naughty neighbour’s son with itchy fingers sneaked in and did something that would be a sure passport for automatic entry into hell. While walking back, the obviously panicky guest sprinted towards the gate upon seeing me, forgetting his coat, which he wouldn’t dare return to reclaim (as you wouldn’t if you are a man).

When I noted that the drawer of my desk near the main door was open, I became suspicious. I noted that an envelope with 300,000/-, meant to be the next salary for the caretaker of my farm at Kibaha, had vanished.

Out of curiosity, I explored (didn’t ransack) Mr Mbinu’s coat and discovered an envelope that hosted 1,000,000/- ! Arithmetically, it worked in my favour as : 1,000,000/- minus 300,000/- plus 1,000,000/-, equals 1,700,000/- !

Two days later, I checked on how my mild malaria-harassed friend, Mr Kingdom Tetesi, was faring at Muhimbili Hospital. He, and the patient on the next bed, were seated and chatting.

I suspected that the other man was suffering from the mild form of a disease which shares the ‘BP’ abbreviation with British Petroleum. We gazed at each other like two hostile cocks, neither seeming to be courageous enough to start a fight.

He tried to speak, failed and cried instead. Kingdom wondered why I burst into hilarious laughter instead of being pitiful. I said I would narrate the story at ‘our’ Kufa Kupona Bar, where we would meet after his discharge, cautioning, though, that he could die of laughter!

The man was Mr Brightman Miundo Mbinu!

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